Bank News, First County Bank Profile, In Our Community

First County Bank Profile: Meet Maria Bivona

Maria Bivona was recently promoted to the position of Branch Manager at First County Bank’s Academy of Information, Technology and Engineering high school branch in Stamford.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Sicily, Italy, and I moved to the United States in 2000. I live in Trumbull with my husband and our 9-year-old son. I love to spend time with my family traveling, watching movies, riding bikes and listening to music.

Currently, I’m attending my last year of the Connecticut School of Finance and Management and I am looking forward to graduation. I have worked at First County Bank for 11 years. I started as a teller in the New Canaan branch.

During my career with First County Bank, I had the pleasure of volunteering for many amazing community events, but my ultimate favorite event was the benefit walk for Bennett Cancer Center’s patients called “Hope in Motion.” It’s great to see the entire community come together to support those whose lives have been impacted by such a terrible disease.

What is your favorite part of your role with First County Bank?

My favorite part of my role with First County Bank is being able to establish a strong relationship with my coworkers and customers. I love being able to assist people and help address any of their concerns. I really enjoy interacting with customers and feel a sense of accomplishment when they leave with a big smile on their face!

Do you have a favorite First County Bank moment?

I have many special moments with First County Bank and picking one is almost impossible. I find it extremely rewarding helping and encouraging others to achieve both their financial and personal goals. I find it very satisfying when a customer leaves my office thanking me for my assistance and support.

Bank News, Customer Profile, Smart Savings Tips

Pint-Sized Savers

Last month, our branches gave kids the opportunity to win a prize (and bragging rights) for correctly guessing the amount of coins in the money jar. Our 15 winners not only won the jar of coins as their prize, but also a small investment in their future and valuable saving tips beginning at a young age.

According to Forbes magazine, children as young as three years old can grasp financial concepts like saving and spending. A study done by the University of Cambridge showed that children’s money habits are formed by the age of seven. The sooner kids start saving, the faster their money can grow!

Congratulations to our 15 lucky prize winners and happy saving!

Darien: Brandon A.; Fairfield: Nicole C.; Greenwich: Patrick B.; New Canaan: Teagen H.; Norwalk: Nondine D., Motasem S., Corinne F.; Stamford: Arison B., Brooke R., Amber B., Dylan R., Jacob J., Chase N., Christian H. and Westport: Liliana B.

 

 

Lifestyle Trends & Tips, Miscellaneous, The CEO's Posts

The Dog Days of Summer

August is known as the “Dog Days of Summer.” To celebrate this and to have a little fun, First County Bank showcased our furry, four-legged friends with their loyal human companions. Our Chairman and CEO, Rey Giallongo, even joined in the fun by sharing a photo of his pals Powell and his brother, Joe. Rey said Powell and Joe are special because they were service dogs with Puppies Behind Bars. Powell and Joe think Rey is special too because he takes them for walks and gives them treats. Check out our photo gallery to see our employees with their top dogs!

 

First County Bank Profile

First County Bank Profile: Meet Jennifer Garcia

Jennifer Garcia is the Assistant Branch Manager at First County Bank’s Prospect Street branch in Stamford.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been with First County Bank since I graduated high school and have loved all the years I’ve been here. I’ve grown up and learned a lot about myself and the banking industry. I am now married and have recently purchased my first home. I was able to breeze through the home buying process thanks to everything I’ve learned working at First County Bank.

Currently, I’m starting my senior year at the University of Bridgeport and look forward to continuing my education. I particularly enjoy spending free time with my husband and my dog Brady (named after Tom Brady; we are a New England Patriots household).

Throughout my ten years at First County Bank I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering for many community events, but my ultimate favorite event has to be the Thanksgiving UBS balloon parade every year. I love seeing all the families gathered together to watch the parade.

What is your favorite part of your role with First County Bank?

My favorite part of my role with First County Bank is the ability to learn and grow within the company. I’ve had great mentors throughout my years at First County Bank and have learned a lot from them. Due to the knowledge I’ve gained I have been able to successfully become an assistant branch manager. I am very grateful that I’ve had such amazing coworkers.

Do you have a favorite First County Bank moment?

I have many favorite moments with First County Bank. I must say that I enjoy the holiday parties because all employees from different departments and branches get to interact with each other. It is a time when we recognize and celebrate our hard work throughout the year. Everyone I’ve ever met at First County Bank has been a pleasure to work with and I’ve created great friendships.

In Our Community, Sponsorships & Events

First County Bank Teams Up with Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy to Offer FirstAthlete Access

First County Bank and Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy (BVSA) are excited to announce a special offer for our customers. We’ve teamed up with BVSA to offer FirstAthlete Access, a Bank customer appreciation program.

Available at all First County Bank branches, the FirstAthlete Access coupon offers a $350 value BVSA appointment for athletes of all ages to improve their game. This includes a choice of: 30 minute baseball or softball evaluation; 60-90 minute performance training session (age dependent); or entry into a BVSA baseball or softball clinic (six 1-hour, weekly sessions).

Left to Right – Rey Giallongo, chairman and CEO of First County Bank, with Bobby Valentine, founder of Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy and Willard Miley, senior vice president and director of Retail Banking, First County Bank.

In April 2018, First County Bank became the official field sponsor of BVSA’s 40,000 square foot indoor sports facility. The BVSA facility is a sporting home for young athletes and families in Fairfield County and hosts corporate events, fundraisers and sporting tournaments. Since the Sports Academy and First County Bank both are invested in serving the community, this partnership could not be a better match.

For more info about Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy, visit http://bvacademy.com.

In Our Community

First County Bank Volunteers with the Polish Saturday School in Stamford

Left to Right: First County Bank Employees Joanna Woznik, Anna Chmarzynska, and Justyna Nurczyk

First County Bank actively participated in Stamford’s Polish Saturday School during the 2017-2018 school year as a part of its ongoing involvement in the local Polish community.

A number of bank employees volunteered every Saturday to help young children start their first savings account and teach financial literacy to eighth grade and high school students. It was a wonderful opportunity to get involved with the local community and help students develop important life skills.

The 2017-2018 school year was also the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Polish Saturday School. Employees took part in their Jubilee Banquet on June 9, 2018, which celebrated the 30th anniversary and the end of the 2017-2018 year. The Bank is honored to be involved in such a valuable community organization.

Trends & Tips

Warning Signs of Identity Theft

If your wallet, Social Security number, or other personal information is lost or stolen, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft. Watch out for these warning signs that someone has stolen your information:

  • You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
  • You don’t get your bills or other mail.
  • Merchants refuse your checks.
  • Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
  • You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
  • Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
  • Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
  • A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
  • You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.

Visit https://www.firstcountybank.com/efraud-protection for resources in case you detect one of these warning signs.

 

First County Bank Profile

First County Bank Profile: Meet Elizabeth Grajeda

Elizabeth Grajeda is the Assistant Branch Manager at First County Bank’s Shippan branch in Stamford.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Guatemala and moved to the United States in 1994, thanks to my mother who wanted a better life for me and my sisters. I am the first child of five and a proud mother of two girls and one boy. I have always lived in Stamford and have never seen my life outside here. I love spending my free time with my family watching movies and soccer, eating ice cream, going to the park or just relaxing at home with them. One of my biggest obsessions is shopping for shoes- different types, sizes, colors- and I love to match them up with my clothes (but what woman doesn’t, though!).

I started my career at First County Bank in 2004 as a teller at the Atlantic Street branch and worked my way up to Supervisor and then Assistant Manager in 2013. I love to work with people, listen to them, and help them out with their needs. I also love to volunteer in different community and bank events. One of my favorite ones has always been the Stamford Thanksgiving Balloon Parade, even though it’s cold, but I love it because it’s fun.

What is your favorite part of your role with First County Bank?
My favorite part of working at First County Bank is my interaction with people: to be able to help them out with their needs and give them advice. I also enjoy the long term relationships and friends I’ve made through the years. I have been able to see families opening their newborn’s first savings account, and then, after years passing by, seeing that child growing up and coming in to open their first checking account or credit card.

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers?
“How do you do it?”
In my branch we have always worn different hats, from teller to manager. I always have a smile on my face and a positive attitude towards everything I do.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
My favorite First County Bank moments are when I am able to be a part of my customers’ and employees’ lives, achievements and needs, and when I am able to serve the community.

 

Promotional Initiatives

#DigitalConnection: Debit Card Protection Offers Greater Peace of Mind

Deactivation on Desktop

Have you ever lost, misplaced, or had your debit card stolen?

With First County Bank’s Debit Card Protection, customers can deactivate/reactivate their debit card with the click of a button! This feature is accessible via mobile phone, tablet, or desktop allowing customers to directly manage their debit card quickly and conveniently.

Deactivation can be initiated using the “Guard my Card” feature on the mobile app or though the website under “Card Services.” Deactivating a debit card will temporarily freeze any card activity from occurring. If the customer finds their debit card, they may reactivate it using the same feature.

First County Bank’s Debit Card Protection feature offers customers a sense of security in the event of a missing debit card by preventing unauthorized use.